Dear Church Family,
I have been doing a bit of thinking about freedom. The Fourth of July is only a few days away and though it is being encouraged to forgo fireworks (it is very dry my friends) it is still a celebration of freedom. More so this year because we finally recognized “Juneteenth” as a federal holiday and can celebrate the true date of emancipation. As I write this “Pastor’s Page” out (June 30th), Governor Brown has lifted the states COVID-19 restrictions, all of them, and we are set to move forward from this pandemic. And this last day of June 2021, six months after the insurrection that tried to bring down our country, Congress has voted to set up a Select Committee to throw light on this horrendous event. Let freedom ring from every mountain top!
Today is also the last day of my six-week Sabbatical. I have had the freedom to sleep in a bit and get some extra-curricular reading done. I have had the freedom to get a little extra training on the fire department and to take a few motorcycle rides. I have been busy for sure, sometimes too busy with all that must be done but the rest was needed. I have learned to stop being a “hero” and slow it a bit. Or in the words of Dirty Harry, “a man has got to know his limitations”. So, I am ready to start this month of July with a renewed sense of the freedom that only Christ can give.
In my time away I have been reading through 1st and 2nd Chronicles. I have come to realize that I have never preached through these two books of the Bible. I have referred to them and quoted verses from them but never tried to understand them. It has been a challenge to stay on track (hey, I was on Sabbatical, so I was not trying hard) but they have been a blessing. They tell the story of Israel from David to the exile and back again. In 2nd Chronicles 36 (the very last chapter) verse 17, it says, “So the Lord brought the king of Babylon against them...”, verse 21 reads, “So the message of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest…”. Then suddenly it all changes in verse 22, “In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had give through Jeremiah…” and he sent them back to rebuild Jerusalem.
Freedom lost and found in the final verses. We will explore the passages in between this summer. We will not get them all, just the high points. But in the process, I hope we can come to see how our history is tied to God’s salvation history. How our lives have been tied to God’s Son’s life. And that our true freedom can be found only in Him.
Have a great summer!
In His Matchless Love,
Tim Mayne, pastor